Monday, September 10, 2012

Greetings from the staff of the SDSU Children's Literature Center!

Welcome to the Fall 2012 semester at the Center for Children's Literature at San Diego State University! My name is Jill Coste, and my colleague Alya Hameed and I are excited to start posting regularly here about all the fascinating things going on in the field of Children's Literature. Along with the director of the Center, Dr. Joseph T. Thomas, Jr., and the other children's literature faculty here at SDSU, we are excited to contribute to the online conversation about children's lit and its many iterations.

But first, we'd like to extend a big thank you to Dr. Alida Allison, who maintained this blog and posted a spate of interesting links last year. Dr. Allison also established the Children's Literature Book Review service, which has an archive of hundreds of reviews here. Dr. Allison's enthusiasm for and commitment to the Center for Children's Literature is an excellent example for us as we move forward.

About Jill and Alya:

As I mentioned earlier, my name is Jill Coste, and this is my third year working with the Children's Lit Center as a part-time graduate student. I'll receive my M.A. in English Literature in May 2013. Throughout my time at the Center, I've enjoyed reviewing books (thanks, publishers, for sending them to us!), creating a new book review site (over here), and learning about the world of children's literature scholarship. I am particularly interested in representations of psychological disorders in young adult fiction; I received an award from the Children's Literature Association for a paper I wrote examining examples of obsessive-compulsive disorder in the books Harriet the Spy, Dangerous Angels, and Wintergirls. My other research interests lie in gothic horror, border identity, and fairy-tale retellings, and I'm also fixated on contemporary Dystopian novels and their overwhelming prevalence in today's market. So you can expect to see some blog posts that address those areas.

Now I'll turn it over to Alya Hameed, whose input on this blog is going to be awesome:

Hi everyone!  My name is Alya, and I'm incredibly excited to be one of the new bloggers here. I've just started my first semester at SDSU in the English M.A. program specializing in Children's Literature, and while I am new to the game here, I have dipped my feet into the pool of children's lit before. As an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, I had the opportunity to facilitate a course on the analysis of the Harry Potter series. I am not ashamed to admit there was Quidditch involved, but also an extensive amount of critical reading as well. That was my first foray into the scholarship of children's literature, and I look forward to diving deeper and sharing with you my discoveries, as well as what's going on here in the Center and at SDSU. Along with young adult novels, I have a growing interest in global and cross-cultural children's literature and literacy, the world of illustrators, and pop culture. I also have a penchant for the various symbolic connections between food and stories, so you might find some intriguing posts or events to savor from time to time.

Once again, I'm thrilled to begin sharing with you the scintillating happenings within the realm of Children's Lit!

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